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June 22, 2017 Update

I’ve bought some discounted video games, but nothing big.  Still have around $5000 in emergency cash.  On track for $8000 at the next pay check.

Went up to SF and ended up spending $220 for dinner and 2 escape rooms.  I think my share of that was only $120 b/c the girlfriend paid $100.  San Francisco is like that… we went to a tapas restaurant, and I think it ended up being $50/person.  I don’t regret it, but I’d probably try to avoid doing it again.  Expensive and lots of driving time.  Cheaper ways to spend time with friends…

I need to budget some money for a wedding gift.

I’ve been thinking about the fastest way to impart the most valuable information.  The best I’ve come up with is ratios… Budget ratios leading to net worth ratios.  It seems a little technical though… I feel kind of like I’m floating around in limbo right now.  Lately I’ve been thinking about life milestones and what I need to do to feel like I’m moving forward.  I’ve already check the box on job, car, and home.  Get married?  Have a kid?  I never really thought of the purpose of my life in terms of making a kid.  It seemed like something fun that you’d do on the way.

I’ve been looking at real estate in San Francisco.  Maybe living up there would make me feel like more stuff was happening.  But of course it’s so expensive… I’d really have to be convinced that there was a real payoff.  More and more, I see people moving away from SF and not toward it.  Again, what’s the point of living in SF unless you’re spending a bunch of money on going out?

I’ve also been looking at technology upgrades, but I know they wouldn’t bring much happiness.  It’s just pure escapism, so I really need to avoid those purchases, because they are large and they get me off track.

Pay Day

I transferred everything but $1000 out of checking.  Wallet has $345.  Savings account is $966.  $2k in Betterment safety net and $2k into Betterment tax coordinated investment.

I opened a separate taxable account in Betterment to take advantage of their tax coordinated portfolio.  My account empire grows!  Maybe next paycheck I will get a dish washer.

I should probably start contributing to my 2017 401(k).  I don’t want to be caught by surprise at the end of the year.  I’m thinking just make it $1500/paycheck, $3k a month.  My cash hoard can grow by $1500/pay check starting in July.

Long Time, No See

I’ve gained a social life in the last couple of weeks, and that has cut back on the time I have to update this.

The emergency fund rebuilding has been going slow.  I kind of knew in my head this would happen.  TBH, it is a relief to not really think about the money after doing it for so long, but I also know I will have to get back on the discipline horse sooner or later.

Since the June 4 note, I also bought:

$29 book of old poetry that I already own that I like to buy on impulse

$140 autoclosing cat feeder (this one is actually exciting)

$10 comic book

$30 smart desk light

$30 video game

$12.50 video game

About $250 of stuff.  Definitely not the end of the world.  The cat feeder is especially exciting b/c it is a time / sleep saver.  One of my cats is a land shark and eats the other cat’s food.  This cat feeder reads the chip of the victim cat and only opens the lid when that cat is ready to eat.  This frees up my time and attention to stop policing cat eating, and the victim cat also doesn’t have to bug me in the morning for food.  Win win!!!  Spending money to free up my time and attention is the best!!

The $30 smart desk light was a gift, and that’s def a reasonable gift.  The other money was on video games and book, about $40 each.  Not bad.  Yesterday I was tempted to buy another video game for $30 but successfully resisted it.  The spending has been more than in the hermit months, but it hasn’t been completely bonkers.  The problem was just getting hit with the big insurance / flight expenses right as I depleted my savings.  Tomorrow I should get paid.  That’ll bring me up to $4500ish savings.  I need to put some spending boundaries back in place though…  I also need to film some videos.

Race vs Steady State Mentality

I’ve noticed this significant difference between me and other people.  I view life as a race to hit certain guarantees.  Other people view it more as, “Consumption is happiness, so I should consume as much as possible right now and maybe do the minimum for my future self, but maybe not.”

As a result, they have much more trouble growing over time.  They have trouble growing their knowledge b/c they don’t want to sacrifice immediate pleasure for the pain of learning.  They have trouble growing their net worth b/c they’re spending it all and increasing their spending when they get a raise.

A good example of this difference is housing.  My first home purchase was a race to guarantee stable housing.  For other people, it’s an opportunity to build a suburban pleasure palace with no need to pay off early.

Since housing is such a big deal for wealth building, this difference in mentality is going to cause me problems when I’m trying to help people grow their net worth.  The gap between the two mindsets is very substantial.  A person speaking from my mindset may not even  be speaking the same language.  People think they will be miserable living in cheaper housing.  They overestimate the long term happiness it provides, and then attribute my wealth to my income rather than my lack of willingness to spend it, which I guess brings up an interesting  point — does money make a person happy if they aren’t actually spending it on consumption?  How much happiness is in savings?